It took another person growing inside of me to listen to my body. Then I lost the baby and it felt like my body lied. I didn’t know what to believe anymore.
As a yoga teacher, I encourage people to trust their bodies every day. Yet before I got pregnant, I didn’t always listen to my body as deeply as I should’ve. I overrode cravings for meat when my iron was low and woke up too early when I desperately needed sleep. I ignored fullness signals and had that extra cookie, and ignored starvation signals when watching my weight. The minute there was another life on the line—inside me—all of that changed immediately. My body and baby were boss, and I was their faithful servant.
From the moment those two pink lines showed up on the test, I knew this journey would be fragile. With every day that I was joyful and excited, I was also terrified. We know life is out of our control, but never more than when you are growing another person inside of you. Yes, you can take care of yourself, eat the right foods, and be smart about your choices, but ultimately the decision of whether that baby sees the light of day is not in your hands. And because you have never wanted anything more in your whole life, it is the scariest feeling to be somewhat out of control.
So, I hung onto the things I could control. I listened to the people who reassured me that being nauseous and having pregnancy symptoms were a sign of a healthy baby. My symptoms became an anchor—something to hold onto. I would poke at my breasts to make sure they were still sore and test my nausea by waiting just a minute or two longer than I should to eat. I would check the toilet paper for blood, even in the dead of night. I would listen deeply to any churn of my tummy, trying to differentiate digestion from cramps. Online sites and friends regularly reassured me, “If you are not bleeding or cramping, everything is fine!” But everything was not fine.
See also Mourning a Miscarriage
When we saw the empty sac on the ultrasound screen where a fetus should have been, I was not only sad, I also felt deceived and confused. How could my body lie to me? The part that I had the hardest time understanding was my body was telling me one thing, while something completely different was actually happening.
If we are lucky enough to get pregnant again, how will I ever know the baby is OK? This is where miscarriage can be incredibly isolating. You feel like you have nothing to hold onto, nothing anchoring you. This is also where miscarriage can be an opportunity to connect to something bigger. It is a time to come together with your sisters, to rekindle your faith in the universe’s plan, and most importantly, to reconnect with yourself.
Now, I’m working on repair— physically repairing after the loss of life, and personally repairing my relationship with myself. I am working to reignite my faith in my body’s wisdom, remembering that the baby did not continue to develop because there was something wrong. I am also choosing to focus on the fact that my body got to experience creation, however brief the amount of time. I don’t know if we can do it again. I hope so. But I do know that for a few moments of my own precious life, I got to experience the gift of creation.
I found this sequence incredibly healing and helpful after my loss—a way to say, “thank you” and reconnect to my body. I hope it does the same for you.